- Washington Post -
President Obama on Saturday offered a glimpse of a new national security doctrine that distances his administration from George W. Bush's policy of preemptive war, emphasizing global institutions and America's role in promoting democratic values.
In a commencement speech to the graduating class at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the president outlined his departure from what Bush had called a "distinctly American internationalism." Instead, Obama pledged to shape a new "international order" based on diplomacy and engagement.
Obama has spoken frequently about creating new alliances, and of attempts to repair the U.S. image abroad after nearly a decade in which Bush's approach was viewed with suspicion in many quarters.
Unlike Bush, who traveled to West Point in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to announce his American-centered approach to security, Obama on Saturday emphasized his belief in the power of those alliances.
"Yes, we are clear-eyed about the shortfalls of our international system. But America has not succeeded by stepping outside the currents of international cooperation," he said. "We have succeeded by steering those currents in the direction of liberty and justice -- so nations thrive by meeting their responsibilities, and face consequences when they don't."
Obey Amurr'ca, or face the consequences. Read it all.